The suspect in Elijah Al-Amin’s killing reportedly said anyone who listens to rap music is “a threat to him and the community.”
A white man suspected of killing a black teenager in Arizona reportedly claimed that he felt “unsafe” because the teen was listening to rap music.
On July 4, 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin entered a Circle K convenience store in Peoria, Arizona, shortly after getting off work. He was followed inside by 27-year-old Michael Paul Adams, who approached the teen from behind and allegedly stabbed him with a pocketknife and slit the boy’s throat before fleeing the scene.
Shortly after the incident, Adams was arrested near the store with blood on his hand and the knife still in his possession. A July 4 statement from the Peoria Police Department noted that officers were still looking for information about Adams’s motive, but a July 5 report from the Arizona Republic said Adams allegedly attacked the teen because he “felt threatened by the music” Al-Amin was playing in his car.
“Adams told police rap music makes him feel ‘unsafe’ because he had been attacked by people who listen to rap music in the past,” the outlet reported, citing police records filed in local court. “He also said people who listen to rap music are a threat to him and the community.”
The report added that Adams said he was only threatened by the music and had no interactions with the teen before stabbing him. Adams reportedly claimed he felt a need to be “proactive rather than reactive.”
Adams has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held on a $1 million bond.